The season is just around early summer. I turned nine years old and celebrated my first birthday without Milli. At such a milestone, I was called to meet with my father, Robert.
I was not expecting my father to celebrate my birthday in place of Milli, but still, I thought that he may have some kind words to say to me.
But, after entering my father’s office–
“Leon, your fiancée has been decided.”
My father greeted me with this cruel reality.
“Yes, you will be married to the daughter of the Sfir family.”
The Sfir family? Haven’t I heard that name somewhere before? Somewhere……it doesn’t matter, I have no choice but to leave.
Though I’ll need to find a way to get into contact with Claire and Milli before I…..Ahh, I remember!!
“If I’m not mistaken that girl is three years younger than me.”
“…Hou? So you know of her. Yes, you will be married to Sophia of the Sfir family.”
Three years younger, huh. It doesn’t sound so bad if I compare it to Claire’s potential marriage partners…..even if I’m being told to marry someone I’ve never met before.
“I’m guessing I can’t refuse?”
“Of course not. But, this, for you, really shouldn’t seem like such a bad outcome to your story.”
Father gives me a meaningful look. I questioned how he could think I would be fine with being forced into an unexpected engagement. Perhaps he had noticed my hidden feelings?
“…What do you mean by it shouldn’t be such a bad outcome?”
“—That is, someone lowborn like you should feel privileged to marry someone from a noble family!”
Suddenly the door opens and a strange boy steps into the room……. No, to be fair, the only man I know in this world is my father, so I have no way of knowing what qualifies as strange here.
“Blake, entering without even knocking, why?”
“Excuse me for my rudeness, Father.”
“Father?……Are you my older brother?”
“Calling me your older brother when you are nothing more than an illegitimate child, you disgust me.”
Blake grabbed a nearby chair and threw it towards me at full power.
He threw it out of anger, therefore the aim was poor, and the chair crashed into the wall behind me.
That’s dangerous……If I had been hit by that I would have suffered a serious injury.
Is this really my older brother? He has the temper of a five year old. He should be six years older than I am, but honestly Claire is more mature than he appears to be.
“Did you not hear me? I said do not call me your older brother.”
“……I’m sorry, Blake-sama.”
I thought I’d want to get along with my brother if we ever met, but it seems like that would be impossible now.
Well he has been raised by Caroline, telling him stories of how the child of a mistress may threaten his position as heir.
After he succeeds to the head of the Grances family, Blake should feel less threatened by me, at that time maybe we will be able to talk.
Back to the matter at hand — I turn my eyes back to Father.
“Instead of accepting the engagement, would you please listen to my request?”
“You impudent little–You will get married as Father has commanded you.”
“Blake, remain silent.”
Father glares toward Blake, causing him to take a step back.
I would like to say Blake looked pathetic, but honestly Father looked really intimidating. It’s strange how much he resembled Claire just now.
“Leon, please let me hear your request.”
“I would like to visit the Sfir family before agreeing to the marriage. Can you grant me this request?”
“…Why is that?”
“If I am to be married, I’d like to get to know my fiancée beforehand.”
It isn’t entirely false, but it’s more of a half-truth.
After meeting with my potential fiancée, if we can get along well, I may agree to the marriage. But if we do not get along, I will try to find a way to get out of the marriage.
My eyes met with my father while I was deep in thought and I could see the edges of his mouth lift to show a broad grin.
“That sounds good. I promise I will give you an opportunity to see her before the marriage.”
……Huh? I thought he may have discovered my true intention. Or is it that he actually understands the desire to meet my potential fiancée before the marriage? Well…either way it would be better if we can first meet.
So, I thanked my father for granting me my request and left his office.
“Otouto-kun, you were here.”
I was met by Claire when I left the mansion to return home.
“Claire? What’s wrong?”
“I have a wonderful present for you.”
“A present…..why so suddenly?”
“Of course it’s because it’s your birthday.”
Oh, oh oh…… Since Milli left I was thinking that I no longer had anyone to celebrate with due to the development just a little while ago – No, this makes me pretty happy.
“Thank you, Claire.”
I embraced Claire without thinking.
“O-Otouto-kun, I know you’re happy, but it would be hard to explain if someone saw us, right? So……so when we’re alone I’d be fine with this.”
I jumped back and looked at Claire, whose cheeks had become bright red.
Er……She’s just embarrassed, right? I feel like her reaction is a little strange just for a brother hugging his sister……is it just my imagination?
“*Cough* Well, Otouto-kun, what do you think your gift is?”
“Well, you said you wanted to learn a lot, right?”
“Ooohh, as I’d expect of Claire!”
I wonder what it will be. Maybe a book? I’d be really happy if it’s a book about how to use magic….Oh, but I can’t disregard the history books of this world, and even a world map or something similar would be good.
When Claire spoke, a girl around seventeen years old appeared from just around the corner of the room. Even though she was wearing plain clothes…she was an incredibly beautiful girl.
“U-Umm, who might this person be?”
“Yes, this slave is a gift for my Otouto-kun.”
“………………………A-ah, slave, huh. A slave….Indeed, this is exactly what I wanted – as if I’d say that stupid sister!”
“Hah!? What do you mean stupid sister!?”
“You’re stupid because you’re stupid! What do you mean this slave is my gift!?”
“Fuu, Otouto-kun doesn’t even understand this much.”
I let out a sigh, Claire really is hopeless. Why am I getting such a bad feeling from the way she’s acting all haughty?
“Well, Otouto-kun, what could you possibly do with this cute young slave? I think it would be nice if you would have various experiences with her.”
“Oh, that sounds good — not! What are you trying to get your brother to do!?”
Even if I accept how vastly different this world is and accept the existence of slavery, I don’t understand the meaning of it being a gift for my birthday.
As we get older, I feel that Claire’s head is becoming more and more filled with useless thoughts. Suddenly, Claire brought her face close to my ear.
“Otouto-kun may not know, but this girl is the daughter from the elf tribe, she is much older than she appears and is very knowledgeable.”
Claire whispered to me and gently spun away from me, she stared at me with a mischievous smile.
“- So, then, I think that she should teach you various things every night from now.”
Similar words to what she originally said. At first I thought she was joking or meant something perverted, but the meaning changed after taking into consideration what Claire had whispered to me earlier.
“…..Did you possibly bring me this as a gift, instead of a book, to hide the truth from the new maid and Caroline?”
“Fufu~, isn’t it meant to be a secret from everyone?”
Saying so, I put my index finger on my lip, Claire really seemed like an angel to me now. At first I thought that she was stupid, but she remembered my request and even found a way for me to learn in secret.
“……Thank you Claire, I’m sorry for calling you a stupid sister, this is the best birthday present I’ve ever received.”
“Fufu~~, I wanted you to say that I am the best onee-chan.”
I guess she’s joking, Claire has a mischievous smile. But for me it was such a nice birthday gift.
“Claire is the best onee-chan.”
“~~~~Ah, you are so cute, Otouto-kun! If you act so obediently, I’ll want to ask you for whatever I want!”
She says that and hugs me firmly……Well, I thought she was still a small child, but she seems to have grown in certain places…not.
“Hey, didn’t you say it would be bad if we were seen hugging by someone?”
“Ah, that’s true. I’m sorry.”
Claire turned away from me with her cheeks dyed red. Huh, her reaction is again a bit strange.
We really must not be seen by anyone — When something caught my eye, Blake was standing in the entryway.
……No he must’ve seen us, right? I thought that this may lead to something awful…but Blake noticed my stare and turned on his heel and walked away.
“Otouto-kun, what’s wrong?”
“Is that so? Don’t worry about the slave, I’ve received permission from mother for you to have her.”
“So, as soon as someone noticed you have a slave, it would have been reported to Mother immediately, so you have permission in advance from her this way.”
“Permission…..surely that’s impossible.”
“I figured you’d be surprised. I heard that otouto-kun is soon to be engaged, so I think that it would be better to have experience with other girls to avoid being hated by your fiancée.”
What the hell. My sister’s trying to figure out what my level of sexual knowledge is, my sister who just gave me a slave as a gift, and my stepmother who approves of it, I wonder what kind of reaction I should have.
While I was thinking this, Claire brought her face close again.
“Because this is the story the new maid has been told, will you act properly?”
“For example, you might be sleeping with Alistair every evening, okay? But, young boys like Otouto-kun would not be satisfied with just once a day, right?”
Did I hear her right!?
“I think it would be better to do those types of things several times a day, but how many times a day do you usually do it Otouto-kun?”
“I wonder if this is really appropriate to be talking about…”
“No. The true meaning of the slave may become exposed otherwise, and then you’ll never be able to find Milli-san again. In order for you to not be doubted, it is necessary for you to behave ‘properly’.”
“That is, maybe, but……”
Huh? What is this shame play. I haven’t even hit puberty yet, so I wonder if I’m even capable of doing something like that…?
– Well, I can’t possibly say that!
“Anyway, Claire, I can keep it a secret without doing anything like that, so can you just leave it to me?”
“I don’t like it, I have a lot of regrets about what happened with Milli-san, so I do not want to make you sad again, so I want to do whatever I can to help you.”
Am I being cornered now!?
Why can’t you understand, you stupid sister! I need to find someway to convince her, but she’s only concerned about me, so she’s making a reasonable argument……
How on earth am I supposed to convince her?
“Well, whatever, if otouto-kun won’t tell me, I’ll have to ask Michelle.”
Huh!? Ask Michelle? That means that she plans to talk with Michelle about how many times a young man like me might do it each day, right!?
And Michelle would understand what someone my age might be capable of — would she then explain all of that to Claire?
Uhhhh…..I hate that option too!
“Only at night, I only do it at night!”
“Well, is that so? A boy your age doesn’t do it more than that?”
“It’s because I haven’t yet hit puberty! So after I get a little older I’ll want to do it a lot more frequently! Therefore just once a day is enough right now!”
I feel like I’ve said something unnecessary in the heat of the moment.
“Is that so? Well if Otouto-kun says so then it must be the case.”
“Y-yes, that’s right…..”
I nodded as my eyes started to look like those of a dead fish.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.